Slang of the First World War

In Tuesday’s post, we quoted Canadian stretcher bearer Ralph Watson of the 29th (Vancouver) Battalion using the term “jake” as an expression of approval when describing a dugout with a corrugated iron roof and large open wood fire. A term associated mostly with Canadians, “jake” was used to refer to anything considered positive or worthy of approval, comparable to simply saying “good” (Pegler, Soldiers’ Songs And Slang Of The Great War, p. 115). 

A “Rustic Summer House” dugout in January 1917. An elaborate shelter like this would have been considered “jake” to Canadian troops!
Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-004400.
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